Thursday, July 06, 2006

BOOM!

Jacksonfest. I only blogged about it briefly this week... so here's the full story, with photos.

Erin came from Nebraska. We drove over to Jackson's house on Saturday. We set up our chairs, added our alcohol to the cooler, and put our Howlin Hot Crab Dip in the fridge.

We had a great time. We met Matt and Breanne. I met Shelly, who was originally from Galva, which was cool because we knew people in common. There were lots of kids. Ohhh and lots of cookies! I love cookies! Jackson and his crew deep fried 2 turkeys (I love deep fried Turkey!) and boiled sweet corn. Jackson's wife Angelique made potato casseroles and cherry pies. There were burgers, hot dogs, potato salad, radishes, pasta salad, and all kinds of veggies (celery, carrots, etc) and the desserts were great. Sugar cookies, M&M and chocolate chip cookies, brownies, pies.... Yum. While the dip heated in the oven with Angelique's potatoes, she showed us a big stack of family pictures, vacations, around the house, etc. We sat around and talked with everyone, meeting all kinds of new people.

Jackson brought out his Boa Constrictor, and it was just beautiful. Joe was afraid of snakes, and so he went to hide in the house. Matt freaked out Breanne with it a bit. The kids gathered around him. I got to pet him and he was so smooth and his skin felt fabulous! I haven't touched a snake since Evan had the python back when he lived with his parents. but that snake bit. And Jackson's doesn't. The little girls couldn't get enough of the snake. They all petted him and sat around him on a blanket on the grass. He was as tame and relaxed as a sleeping dog. It was amazing.

After we ate, the guys started to load up the back of the truck with fireworks and drove out to the designated launch site. As I was sitting there watching them unload, I got the itching to check it out.

Danger be damned! I went out and snuck into the "man territory" and started taking pictures with jackson's camera (I had forgotten my own) and I was loving it. I asked the occasional question "what's that" or "What are you doing" and was usually met with an enthusiastic explanation, except the one time I asked and the guy wiring (who seemed perhaps a little ticked off at my presence in testosterone town) said "I don't know" and I was thinking to myself {hmmm... man wiring up explosives doesn't know what he is doing... encouraging.... encouraging} and there was the **occasional** large boom when someone snuck a firework off the table and lit it off to the side. They loaded the roman candle rack, organized the brightly colored packages, and drilled the cardboard tubes to the plywood table. They sorted and loaded the tubes with mortars. They wired fuses together. It was colorful and fascinating. And how did I, a mere woman, get into all that action? I didn't ask, I snuck in, and I was armed with a camera. Documenting masculinity must be an allowed activity.

When I had gotten my fill of photos, I watched the nice guy that lit all the sparklers for the kids, patiently. I took photos of the kids, swirling around the sparklers and placing the burnt out wires into an old 5 gallon bucket. Anne Marie was so cute, but she kept getting pissed at the sparklers if a spark would touch her. I don't think anyone else was noticing, but she would get a scowl on her face and say "no" or "ouch" and sometimes she would try to hand the wrong end to anotherunsuspecting kid to get rid of it. She is so cute and sweet, she was shy at the party but tonight she was all about talking to me and asking me questions. I think she was also a little perturbed that night by all the other, older kids, wanting to take her hand and lead her around. They would chant "Anne Marie, Ann Marie!" and grab at her hands and then try to take her around and she would get the cutest pouty look on her face, adamant that she was a big girl and she would pull her hands away and march away with a purpose. I found myself observing the kids a lot.

The guys shot off "parachute men" from one far corner of the yard and the kids LOVED them. They would run in herds across the yard, their heads thrown back and eyes to the sky, prancing along trying to be the first ones to the streamers and the men with parachutes. Those kept the kids occupied while they waited for dark and while the guys set up the fireworks.

Once everything was setup... the "pyro-crew" came up and did some fire-breathing with Cruzan Rum and Tiki Torches. I got some great pictures of that. It was entertaining, especially when they would accidentally swallow some and would spend the next 10 minutes swishing around water in their mouths with their eyes watering.

Once the music started the guys put on their lighted headgear and headed for the fireworks table. Jackson chose some great music, better than any crappy fireworks music I have ever heard before. the only thing I wish he would have played... or did he and I just keep thinking this? Jimi Hendrix Star Spangled Banner. Maybe he did play it and that's why I am thinking it. Correct me Jackson?

The fireworks were spectacular. Before the show, someone accidentally set something off that ended up setting off a piece of the grand finale. Oops. There was a great mix of ground and sky, and it really lasted a nice long time. We were all entertained. I think the best part was knowing how hard they worked to put it on, and sitting around in a small group of guests, where we could hoot and holler and whistle and yell and cheer. It was a very comfortable and casual feeling, and I felt right at home, more than I ever had at any other fireworks display. We took pictures. At one time there was a small "unplanned" fire under the table, that had me gasping and worried, but they kicked it out quickly. There was also a firework that looked like it tipped over, and that might have been the one that burnt Jackson's hand, all the guys scattered from the table and there was a great big flash of light. There was a huge intake of breath from the crowd and a bunch of "oh no" phrases slipped out... but the show went on. Afterwards we saw Jackson's hand, which he had all wrapped up tonight, but provided pictures of.

After the fireworks there was a bonfire, but we didn't stay much longer, it was already after midnight when we got home.

So that was jacksonfest 2006. I can't wait till next year.
See ALL the pictures now, located at http://www.flickr.com/photos/dazed81/sets/72157594185880489/

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1 comment:

Michelle said...

Ouch, that hand looks nasty! Looks like you had an awesome time! Jackson has nice property!

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